‘We want to be very conscious of the views’: Developers request RDO zone for 367 acres near Eagle Ridge

CEDAR CITY — The Cedar City Council discussed a proposal Wednesday for a residential development overlay, as well as hearing recommendations for the allocation of Recreation, Arts and Parks Tax funding from advisory boards.

‘We don’t want to disturb this piece of property any more than we have to’

Landowner Joel Hansen and Go Civil Engineering representative Dallas Buckner addressed the council to request a residential development overlay zone for approximately 367 acres near South Mountain Drive.

According to city ordinance, an RDO zone is designed to give developers the ability to develop residential units in higher density than would normally be allowed and “can also include areas with commercial and office type businesses and should be enhanced with community amenities.”

Buckner explained that the proposed Bauer Meadows RDO would include several residential zones, a commercial zone and the Iron County School District zone. He said the developer does not plan to put the maximum number of units possible in an RDO.

“If we were to lay this RDO out and go to max. density, we’d be able to get 2,566 units,” Buckner said. “What we’re proposing, and it would be capped for this RDO area, would be 1,867 units.”

The Bauer Meadows RDO master plan includes 13 pods, which would be developed over at least 10 years.

Buckner added that Pod 8, the highest proposed density in the RDO, would be capped at 103 units and planned as an R-3 multiple unit zone to allow units larger than duplexes.

“We’d like to have the ability to have a three-plex or a four-plex there,” he said.

Hansen addressed concerns from the council regarding the higher density next to other existing developments and said the plan is to cluster a few homes together along a U-shaped road while leaving open space and potentially developing walking trails.

“We don’t want to disturb this piece of property any more than we have to, but it is a very beautiful piece of property for some residential development,” Hansen said. “We want to be very conscious of the views of the existing people in Eagle Ridge and all of the views of the people that will be in the valley and the views of the people in Cross Hollows. We want to accomplish that through height restrictions and color schemes.”

Hansen said the height restriction will be 25 feet.

When the public hearing was opened, community members expressed their concerns about the RDO.

Steve Carroll, who identified himself as the community association president for Cross Hollows, said he appreciates the time and effort that has been put into the RDO plan but asked for space between Bauer Meadows and the current Cross Hollows development.

“Our subdivision consists of 2- to 5-acre lots. We’re realistic enough not to ask for something similar right up against our property,” Carroll said, requesting that anything that abuts our property, at least if we can get acre lots there.”

Carroll also raised concerns about potential water and drainage issues and the potential impact of the many developments that are under construction in the area.

“The impact of all these developments, it does affect us, everything that has been proposed and ratified. We’d like to know, where do we stand in this?”

Harold Pease also addressed the council to discuss concerns for water and the traffic impact on Westview Drive of developments that will use that road frequently.

“We just remind the City Council that you are doing this development, and right in the middle of it is Westview Drive,” Pease said. “Everything you do is affecting us.”

RAP tax allocations

In other business, Donna Law presented the recommendations from the Arts Advisory Board for the distribution of arts funding from the RAP tax.

A total of 16 arts organizations requested funding, with the Utah Shakespeare Festival requesting the lion’s share at $82,700, followed by the Southern Utah Museum of Art at $21,000 and the Orchestra of Southern Utah at $19,000.

Other double digit requests included Cedar City Livestock and Heritage Festival ($17K), Simon Fest ($17K), Cedar City Children’s Musical Theatre ($14K), Cedar City Music Arts ($14K), Cedar City Junior Ballet ($11K) and Cedar City Community Theatre ($11K).

Other requests were as follows:

  • Cedar City Arts Council – $8,000
  • In Jubilo – $3,000
  • Iron County Acoustic Music Association – $3,000
  • Master Singers – $3,000
  • Suzuki Strings – $3,000
  • Jazz Alliance of Cedar City – $1,700
  • Quilter’s Guild – $1,600

Law said although many are experiencing difficulty due to COVID-19, it is still important to ensure that RAP tax does not constitute the majority of an organization’s budget.

“We always try to encourage organizations to have diversified funding,” Law said. “We have the opportunity to provide some guidelines that’ll help make sure that city RAP tax is not providing more than 50 percent of an organization’s budget.”

The Arts Advisory Board also requested to supplement this year’s budget with $20,000 from the unallocated funds for arts.

Along these lines, City Attorney Tyler Romeril proposed an ordinance change that details how unallocated funds from the RAP tax can be used.

Romeril said that the current ordinance is restrictive, and the proposed changes would give more flexibility to how those funds may be used.

“This would allow the council to continue to use those funds for city facilities,” he said, “but it would also give the RAP Tax Advisory Board the ability to recommend the use of those funds for additional arts or parks and rec. organizations.”

In regard to the latter, Len Badertscher presented the recommendations from the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board, where only two organizations requested funds.

Badertscher said the board recommends allocating $320,000 of RAP tax funding to Cedar City Leisure Services and $100,000 to the Cedar City Rotary Club.

Director of Leisure Services Ken Neilsen said the requested $320,000 would be used for upgrades to the Aquatic Center.

“Our request for RAP tax funding involved adding some pickleball courts at the Aquatic Center to the basketball courts that are outside,” he said, adding that they are also requesting a “ninja, parkour-type of playground apparatus” at the facility.

“The remaining funds we requested was to help with the childcare portion of the Aquatic Center addition,” Neilsen said. “That involves the construction as well the soft play material.”

Rotary Club President Paul Monroe said the club would put the funds toward redeveloping part of the Canyon Park to include water features and more shade structures.

“This is a project that we want to relay our heritage of how water has been used historically throughout Iron County,” Monroe said.

The council will vote on these recommendations, as well as the RDO request, during the action meeting July 8.

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